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Service Awards 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who can participate in the Georgia Student Service Award (GSSA)?
A: Senior High School Students

Q: What is the criterion for the GSSA?
A: To qualify for the Georgia Student Service Award, a graduating senior student must complete a minimum of 300 service/volunteer hours (or an average of 75 service/community hours per year).

Q: Where can we find a form for logging hours of my service and community hours?
A: You can use the GSSA Service Log link to download the form to submit to your school sponsor/administrator. Also, some schools use their own form to log student service/volunteer hours

Q: Can an organization other than a school register students for the Georgia Student Service Award?
A: Schools and students can only be registered in the system once, therefore schools have the sole authority to register and enter their students’ information. If a school wishes to delegate this responsibility to another organization, that organization must have written authority from the school to act on its behalf. If the organization is an outside club (ex: 4-H) they must agree to register not only the students participating in the organization’s activities, but also any other student from that school who wishes to participate in the Georgia Student Service Award program.

Q: When is the deadline for submissions?
A: Graduating seniors must have ALL eligible hours submitted by April 15 to qualify for the award. No exceptions will be made. Only Senior hours submitted by the sponsor/administrator at the end of the school year is allowed in the database.

Q: Can private schools, faith-based schools or charter schools participate in the GSSA?
A: Yes both public and private high school students may participate.

Q: Can home schooled students participate?
A: Yes, home schooled students may participate as long as an appropriate adult (parent or teacher) registers and confirms the student's number of service hours.

Q: What exactly is the award?
A: Graduating seniors who reach the milestone will receive a certificate and a red, white and blue service honor cord to be worn at graduation ceremonies.

Q: Who registers on the website?
A: Each school should have only one staff member acting as sponsor/administrator to register their school on this website. That same person is then responsible for submitting student information and service hours.

Q: Who is responsible for certifying student service hours?
A: The sponsor/administrator is responsible for certifying student hours. By submitting Senior student information and hours into the GSSA system, the sponsor/administer is certifying that the student has satisfactorily provided proof of service and deserves the GSSA.

Q: What qualifies as volunteer service?
A: Student service may only include direct contact hours/ hours on task.

Q: Do service-learning hours count?
A: Quality Service-learning is encouraged by GCSV and students may count participation hours from all 5 stages (IPARC/D) of a service-learning project
(See Learning Resources page for more information on service-learning)

Q: Do only the hours from school-sponsored activities count towards the GSSA?
A: No, service can be performed through school sponsored activities and/or through outside organizations such as churches, Boy Scouts and other clubs as long as the sponsor/administrator secures adequate documentation from those organizations.

Q: Can court-ordered service hours be counted for the GSSA?
A: No, court -ordered service does not qualify a student for this award.

Q: What does the cord look like?
A: The cord is red, white, and blue intertwined.

Q: What is the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism?
A: GCSV is the division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) whose mission is the promotion and support of service and volunteerism by Georgians in communities across the State. Major GCSV initiatives include: AmeriCorps, the Martin Luther King Advisory Board and the First Saturday Disaster Response Initiative.

Q: Who do I contact if I have a question?
A: Use the Contact Us function on the website and someone will reply as soon as possible.


Learning Resources

Click here for educational resources for service and service-learning by young people.


Service Stories

See what students are accomplishing in Georgia through service to their communities!


About the Program

Every year Georgia’s students make great contributions to their communities by volunteering. To recognize their service the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism (GCSV) instituted the Georgia Student Service Award.


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